International Travel

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Country Information

Peru

Peru
Republic of Peru
Exercise normal precautions in Peru. Some areas have increased risk. Read the entire Travel Advisory.

Exercise normal precautions in Peru. Some areas have increased risk. Read the entire Travel Advisory.

Do not travel to:

  • The Colombian - Peruvian border area in the Loreto Region due to crime.
  • The area in central Peru known as the Valley of the Rivers Apurimac, Ene, and Mantaro (VRAEM) due to crime and terrorism.

Reconsider travel to:

  • Areas outside cities at night by car due to crime.

Read the Safety and Security section on the country information page.

If you decide to travel to Peru:

Colombian Border

Except on the Amazon River itself, U.S. government personnel are restricted from traveling within 20 kilometers of the border with Colombia in the Loreto region, without prior permission. This includes travel on the Putumayo River, which forms most of the Peru-Colombia border. Drug trafficking and other criminal activity, combined with poor infrastructure, limit the capability and effectiveness of law enforcement in this area.

Visit our website for Travel to High-Risk Areas.

The VRAEM (Valley of the Rivers Apurimac, Ene, and Mantaro)

  • Drug trafficking and other criminal activity, combined with poor infrastructure, limit the capability and effectiveness of law enforcement in this area.
  • Remnants of the Shining Path terrorist group are active in the VRAEM. They may attack with little or no warning, targeting Peruvian government installations.
  • U.S. government personnel are restricted from traveling in the VRAEM. The VRAEM is defined as restricted areas within the regions of Ayacucho, Cusco, Huancavelica, and Junín as follows:

Ayacucho:

  • Permitted: Daylight road travel from Ayacucho City to Huanta city.
  • Staying within the city limits of Huanta.
  • Daylight road travel from Pisco city (Department of Ica) to Ayacucho city.
  • Restricted: Provinces of La Mar and Huanta. Road travel from Ayacucho City to San Francisco city.

Cusco:

  • Permitted: Except as restricted below, most areas, including the Machu Picchu area and city of Cusco.
  • Restricted: 20-kilometer swath of territory contiguous to the Apurimac River and Ayacucho Department (specifically: the districts of Kimbiri, Pichari, Vilcabamba, and Echarate in the Province of La Convencíon).

Huancavelica:

  • Permitted: Train travel from Lima to Huancayo city (Department of Junin) and Huancavelica city.
  • Daylight road travel from Lima to Huancayo city.
  • Daylight road travel from Pisco city (Department of Ica) to Ayacucho city (Department of Ayacucho).
  • Restricted: Provinces of Churcampa, Acobamba, and Tayacaja.

Junín:

  • Permitted: Daylight travel from La Merced city to the Satipo provincial boundary.
  • Restricted: Province of Satipo. In the Province of Concepción, travel east of the cities of San Antonio de Ocopa and Santa Rosa (located northeast of Concepción city). The Districts of Santo Domingo de Acobamba and Pariahuanca in the Province of Huancayo.

Visit our website for Travel to High-Risk Areas.

Areas Outside Cities at Night

Criminal gangs are known to use roadblocks and rob passengers in passing cars and buses. Nighttime travel via road outside Lima and other cities is generally not permitted for U.S. government personnel. However, the following travel by U.S. government personnel is permitted at night:

  • Travel by commercial bus on the Pan American Highway, between the Pan American Highway and Huaraz, or between the Pan-American Highway, Arequipa, and Cusco.
  • Travel by car on the Pan-American Highway south from Lima to Paracas or north from Lima to Huacho (approximately three hours north and south of Lima).

Visit our website for Travel to High-Risk Areas.

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Embassy Messages

Alerts

Quick Facts

PASSPORT VALIDITY:


Must have six months validity at time of entry

BLANK PASSPORT PAGES:


One page required for entry stamp

TOURIST VISA REQUIRED:


Free, issued at the port of entry

VACCINATIONS:


Yellow fever vaccination is recommended

CURRENCY RESTRICTIONS FOR ENTRY:


USD 30,000. More than USD 10,000 must be declared upon entry

CURRENCY RESTRICTIONS FOR EXIT:


Same as entry

Embassies and Consulates

U.S. Embassy Lima

Avenida La Encalada cdra. 17 s/n
Surco, Lima 33
Peru
Telephone:
+(51)(1) 618-2000
Emergency After-Hours Telephone: +(51)(1) 618-2000
Fax: +(51)(1) 618-2724
Emaill: 

Consulates

U.S. Consular Agency - Cusco
Av. El Sol 449, Suite #201
Cusco, Peru
Telephone:
+(51)(84) 231-474
Emergency After-Hours Telephone: +(51) 984-621-369
Fax: +(51)(84) 245-102
Email: 

Destination Description

See the Department of State’s Fact Sheet on Peru for information on U.S. - Peru relations.

Entry, Exit and Visa Requirements

A passport with six months validity is required to enter and depart Peru. Migraciones (Immigration) authorities may also require evidence of return/onward travel. Be sure your date and place of entry is officially documented by Migraciones, whether you arrive at a port, airport or land border. Retain the record of your entry, as you will need it when you depart.

Your length of approved stay will be determined by border officials at the time of entry, and can range from 30 to 183 days. Extensions for tourists are not usually approved, and overstays result in fines.

The U.S. Department of State is unaware of any HIV/AIDS entry restrictions for visitors to or foreign residents of Peru.

Requirements for Exit:

If you do not have an entry record, you are not allowed to exit the country until immigration authorities confirm the time and place of your entry in to the country. Depending on the circumstances, this can be a difficult process, costing considerable time and money to resolve. Make sure Immigration (Migraciones) records your entry, and then save the record for your exit. This is particularly important when entering through remote border crossings, where often the proper officials are not present.

Immediately report lost/stolen passports to local police and keep the report. You must apply for a new passport at the Embassy and obtain a replacement entry record from Migraciones prior to exiting Peru.

Travel with Minors:

Minor children with Peruvian citizenship who are not accompanied by their legal parent/guardian (or by only one parent/guardian, who does not have sole legal custody) are required to have official authorization from the non-traveling parent(s)/guardian(s). This policy also applies to children with dual U.S./Peruvian citizenship. It does not apply to minors with only U.S. citizenship.

In the United States, authorizations for minor travel can be notarized at the nearest Peruvian Consulate by requesting a “Permiso Notarial de Viaje.” Please be aware that these authorizations are valid for 30 days and one trip only. If the minor child has only one legal parent or guardian, the traveling parent/guardian must have evidence of sole custody.

Find information on dual nationality, prevention of international child abduction and customs regulations on our websites.

Safety and Security

SECURITY: Citizen security is a major concern in Peru. Visitors should take appropriate precautions to avoid becoming a victim. In certain areas east of the Andes, coca production is prevalent. The area known as the VRAEM (Valley of the Apurimac, Ene, and Mantaro Rivers) is particularly remote and a known safe haven for narcotraffickers and the last operational remnants of the Shining Path terrorist group. There is little government presence in many remote areas of the Andes and Amazon basin, and illicit activities, such as illegal mining and logging, are common. In many remote areas, assistance is not readily available should travelers find themselves stranded or injured.

U.S. Embassy Lima enforces a Restricted Travel Policy for Embassy personnel, which is based on its assessment of conditions and developments throughout the country. For more detailed information, see the Overseas Security and Advisory Council’s 2018 Crime and Safety Report for Peru.

CRIME: There is a high level of crime in Lima, but it varies by district. In the higher-income areas frequented by tourists, petty theft is the most common concern. Travelers should keep valuables out of sight and be aware of their surroundings. Avoid isolated areas when on foot, especially after dark. Using a trusted taxi or an app-based taxi service is usually safer than hailing an unknown taxi on the street.

Armed assailants usually target victims for their smartphones, wallets, or purses. If confronted by someone with a weapon, it is best not to resist.

Travelers have been drugged while drinking in bars or clubs and assaulted afterwards. To avoid this, travelers should never leave their drinks unattended and seek medical attention if you begin to feel ill.

There is some ATM fraud. It is best to use ATMs inside banks instead of ATMs that are more accessible to passers-by. When making credit card transactions, travelers should expect the vendor to use a credit card reader in their presence. The vendor will ask for a passport or ID number on the credit card slip.

A major concern, especially on routes to and from the airport in Lima, are robberies where the assailant uses a a tool to break a car’s window in traffic in order to steal belongings inside the vehicle. This can best be countered by keeping suitcases and bags in the trunk, generally out of sight, or on the floor of the vehicle. Also, travelers should arrange taxi services while inside the airport. They will charge a flat rate, and most companies require their drivers to use security film on their windows (which prevents shattering).

VICTIMS OF CRIME: If you or someone you know becomes the victim of a crime abroad, contact the local police and the nearest U.S. embassy or consulate. Report crimes to the local police at 105 (National Police) or 0800-22221 (Tourist Police). Another useful resource with offices around the country is iPeru, a tourist information service which has English-speaking personnel and can assist you in obtaining local assistance.

See our webpage on help for U.S. victims of crime overseas.

We can:

  • help you find appropriate medical care
  • assist you in reporting a crime to the police
  • contact relatives or friends with your written consent
  • explain the local criminal justice process in general terms
  • provide a list of local attorneys
  • provide information on victim’s compensation programs in the United States
  • provide an emergency loan for repatriation to the United States and/or limited medical support in cases of destitution
  • help you find accommodation and arrange flights home
  • replace a stolen or lost passport

Domestic Violence: U.S. citizen victims of domestic violence may contact the Embassy’s duty officer for assistance at any hour, +51-1-618-2000.

For further information:

Local Laws & Special Circumstances

Criminal Penalties: You are subject to local laws. If you violate local laws, even unknowingly, you may be arrested, formally expelled from the country or prosecuted and imprisoned within Peru.

Furthermore, some laws are also prosecutable in the U.S., regardless of local law. For examples, see our website on crimes against minors abroad and the Department of Justice website.

In Peru you may find products made with wild plants and animals. Many of these products are of illegal origin and could involve protected or endangered species, whose sale and export are illegal. Any protected species that is sold or transported, either live or transformed into food, medicinal beverages, leather, handcrafts, garments, etc. could be seized by Peruvian authorities. Some products, including live animals, require special permits when leaving Peru. Knowingly importing into the U.S. wildlife or plants that were taken from the wild or sold in violation of the laws of Peru (or any other country) is a violation of the Lacey Act (16 USC § 3371).

Arrest Notification: If you are arrested or detained, ask police or prison officials to notify the U.S. Embassy immediately.

SPECIAL CIRCUMSTANCES: Many popular destinations in Peru are quite remote. These areas have few facilities able to provide advanced or emergent medical care. In addition, be aware:

  • Local rescue capabilities are severely limited. Many mountain areas are too high for helicopters to fly safely. Accidents or injuries while hiking or climbing are common; crisis responders may take hours or even days to reach you if they are traveling over great distances and/or rough terrain.
  • Altitude-related illness affects many people who are in otherwise good health, sometimes severely. Its onset can be rapid, and may be life-threatening if untreated. Do not underestimate its potential effects. Learn about it before you go, and ask your doctor whether any pre-existing condition may be adversely affected at high altitude.
  • When using tourist company services, travelers are encouraged to use qualified and licensed operators. The Ministry of Commerce and Tourism website provides information on tourism companies.
  • Ayahuasca tourism is increasingly popular in Peru, but is poorly regulated. Be aware of the risks involved. While popular media highlights its use as a spiritually liberating or medically beneficial, many users have reported severe/negative physical and psychological effects from using this powerful hallucinogen. Participants in ayahuasca tours have reported being physically or sexually assaulted, or robbed.
  • Always check with local authorities before traveling about local geographic, climatic, health, and security conditions that may impact your safety.
  • Be aware that you may not have access to phone or internet for days at a time. Leave detailed written plans and timetables with a friend or family member before traveling to remote areas.

Faith-Based Travelers: See the Department of State’s International Religious Freedom Report.

LGBTI Travelers: There are no legal restrictions on same-sex sexual relations or the organization of LGBTI events in Peru.

See our LGBTI Travel Information page and section 6 of our Human Rights report for further details.

Travelers Who Require Accessibility Assistance: Peruvian law prohibits discrimination against persons with physical and mental disabilities and mandates that public spaces be free of barriers and accessible to persons with disabilities. However, the government of Peru has devoted limited resources to enforcement and training, and little effort has been made to ensure access to public buildings and areas. In general, access to buildings, pedestrian paths, and transportation is difficult for persons with disabilities.

Students: See our Students Abroad page and FBI travel tips.

Women Travelers: See our travel tips for Women Travelers.

Health

Medical care is generally good in Lima and usually adequate in major cities, but less so elsewhere in Peru. Private, urban health care facilities are often better staffed and equipped than public or rural ones. Public facilities in Cusco are generally inadequate for serious medical conditions.

Visitors to popular Andean destinations, such as Cusco/Machu Picchu, Arequipa/Colca Canyon, Kuelap/Chachapoyas, Puno/Lake Titicaca, and other areas high in the mountains often suffer from Altitude-related illness (see “Special Circumstances” section) and should seek medical advice prior to travel.

We do not pay medical bills. Be aware that U.S. Medicare does not apply overseas.

Medical Insurance: Make sure your health insurance plan provides comprehensive coverage overseas. Many hospitals only accept cash payments.  See our webpage for more information on insurance providers for overseas coverage.

We strongly recommend supplemental insurance to cover medical evacuation.

If traveling with prescription medication, check with the government of Peru to ensure the medication is legal in Peru. Always, carry your prescription medication in original packaging with your doctor’s prescription.

The following diseases are prevalent in some parts of Peru:

Vaccinations: Be up-to-date on all vaccinations recommended by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention including routine childhood immunizations such as measles, mumps and Varicella (chickenpox) as these highly infectious illnesses are not uncommon in Peru.

Further health information:

Travel and Transportation

Road Conditions and Safety:

Driving conditions in Peru are very different from those found in the United States and can be considerably more dangerous. Visitors are strongly encouraged to familiarize themselves with local law and driving customs before attempting to operate vehicles.

Roads are often poorly maintained and may lack crash barriers, guard rails, signs, and streetlights. Fog is common on coastal and mountain highways making conditions more treacherous. Slow-moving buses and trucks frequently stop in the middle of the road unexpectedly. Traveling in a group is preferable to solo travel. Spare tires, parts, and fuel are needed when traveling in remote areas, where distances between service areas are long.

Road travel at night is particularly hazardous. Due to safety concerns, U.S. Embassy personnel are prohibited from traveling on mountainous roads at night.

Intercity bus travel can be dangerous. Bus accidents resulting in multiple deaths and injuries are common due to routes along narrow, winding roads without a shoulder and steep drop-offs. Accidents are frequently attributed to excessive speed, poor bus maintenance, poor road conditions, and driver fatigue.

Please refer to our Road Safety page for more information. You may also wish to consult Peru’s Ministry of Transportation site (Spanish and English), which has more detailed information on road safety, regulations, and standards.

Traffic Laws:

Always carry your driver's license, a copy of your passport and the rental agreement when you drive a rental car. International driver's licenses are valid for one year, while driver's licenses from other countries are generally valid for 30 days.


To obtain a Peruvian license, you’ll need to pass a written exam, a practical driving test and a medical exam. More information about this process, as well as how to obtain an international driving license in Peru, can be found at the Touring y Automovil Club del Peru website (Spanish only).

If a traffic officer signals you to stop, you must stop. Traffic officers must wear uniforms and identification cards that include their last name on their chest. Traffic officers are not allowed to retain your personal identification or vehicle documents. Under no circumstances should you offer or agree to pay money to traffic officers.

In case of an accident or collision, contact local police. If your car is a rental, call the agency or representative of the insurance company provided by the rental agency. Do not drive away from the scene of an accident.

Aviation Safety Oversight:

The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has assessed the government of Peru’s Civil Aviation Authority as being in compliance with International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) aviation safety standards for oversight of Peru’s air carrier operations. Further information may be found on the FAA’s safety assessment page.

Maritime Travel:

Mariners planning travel to Peru should check for U.S. maritime advisories and alerts at the Maritime Security Communications with Industry Web Portal. Information may also be posted to the U.S. Coast Guard homeport website and as a broadcast warning on the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency’s website.

International Parental Child Abduction

Review information about International Parental Child Abduction in Peru. For additional IPCA-related information, please see the International Child Abduction Prevention and Return Act (ICAPRA) report.

Last Updated: July 11, 2018

Travel Advisory Levels

Assistance for U.S. Citizens

U.S. Embassy Lima
Avenida La Encalada cdra. 17 s/n
Surco, Lima 33
Peru
Telephone
+(51)(1) 618-2000
Emergency
+(51)(1) 618-2000
Fax
+(51)(1) 618-2724

Peru Map